Living History Museum

Social Studies has always been one of my favorite things to teach - I love learning about past events and people that have shaped both our country and our world.
I love reading historical fiction books to my students, because it makes the past come alive in fresh ways.
This year my students LOVE history! Love it as in they are chomping at the bit to get to it each afternoon and they groan when we finish our reading section. It makes this little teacher's heart very happy :)

I'm linking up with my buddy, Joanne, from
"Head Over Heels for Teaching" 
for her weekly linky, "Spark Student Motivation Saturdays"
Today I want to share an idea that was a BIG HIT this week!
It took a lot of prep work, but my students had the opportunity to shine in our 5th Grade Living History Museum!
Here's how it works:
 Here are some pictures from the exciting day!
We set up around the gym, "frozen" in our places. 
The top picture shows the first parents coming in, getting a sneak peek before the invited classes came (bottom picture).
 Here are some of my "famous Americans"
The kiddos did such a FABULOUS job!!!
Their costumes and props were well-thought-out and their speeches were informative, interesting, and engaging! I think they surprised themselves with how much they could accomplish with some hard work, time, and diligence.

This was such a MOTIVATING project as it made history come alive to the students - it was so much more engaging than just reading a book and doing a simple book report. I guarantee that these students will remember facts about their person long after fifth grade :)

Have you done something to motivate your students learning lately? Hop on over to Joanne's page to link up! :)


  1. Wow, it looks like your students worked really hard on this. Their costumes look great! What a neat idea!

    Ladybugs Lounge

  2. What a GREAT idea! You have the BEST ideas! It makes me want to teach Social Studies. However, I think I could adapt this to Science and combine Language Arts as well. I'm thinking we could use your format but substitute "Famous Scientists" for "Famous Americans." This would be the perfect springtime-want-to-be-outside-not-in-the-classroom activity. Thanks for sharing!


  3. Social Studies is definitely my favorite subject to teach too! I did a wax museum when I student taught in 3rd grade. I'm hoping to use it in my fifth grade class next year!

    Sara :)
    The Colorful Apple

  4. Those look great!! The 8th graders in our district do a big project like this every year and call it "Wax Museum. " and it is a huge hit!!

    Mind Sparks

  5. One word Jessica: AMAZING! Your living museum is such a memorable and motivating experience for your students! The costumes are fantastic! And, they learned so much about their historical figures...bonus! Thanks for sharing and linking up friend!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching


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